Cruising

Regal Princess | Princess Cruises

The main Piazza with two spiral staircases and panorama elevators.The Regal Princess is a Royal class ship built-in 2013 and launched in 2014 that sails under the Princess Cruise line.  Covering Northern Europe and the Caribbean this ship moves around quite a bit but has many modern creature comforts that make it feel like home.  Not quite as large as the biggest ships on the sea the Regal Princess has just about everything you could want especially if you are used to cruising with Princess Cruises.  This is a ship you definitely need to sail on!

If you have never sailed with Princess Cruises then I highly suggest you read our article on that here but we’ll try to do a quick summary.  Princess targets an upper class of passenger.  You’re average Princess passenger is a bit older or more reserved, that isn’t to say you will only see a bunch of 80+ year olds but rather it’s for passengers who want a bit more sophistication with a bit less “chaos”.  What I mean by that is you won’t find flow riders, sky diving simulators or crazy water slides but what you will find is a focus on class and executing on the important things like dinning, good pools, many services, etc…

Impressions

Very clean and modern with the classic Princess look and feel this ship will make you feel like Princess has iterated on what has made them so good at the market they target.  You won’t feel like this is a fundamentally new ship so much as you will see the continued perfection of their existing brand.  The 3 story Piazza which forms the centre of the ship is stunning, the various restaurants are great and princess comes through with their shore excursions as well.

Staterooms

There are several categories of rooms on Princess and by extension this ship also.  There are Interior, Balcony, Deluxe Balcony, Mini-Suite, Club Class and Suite.  If you want more information about those classes feel free to read our summary on Princess Cruises.  The staterooms on this ship however are modern, include a large flat panel TV and have a fair number of power outlets available.

The beds in the room are very comfortable with lots of storage space for your suit cases and include a pull out sofa bed.  The design of the rooms is comfortable but not loud with warm wood tone paint/colours.

Food & Dining

There are various dinning facilities onboard that range from casual buffet to formal dining.  Princess does have several formal nights onboard where you are to dress up with a suit and tie.  In addition there are the “specialty dinning” restaurants which are an additional uncharge but also provide a higher end dinning experience.

Main Dining Rooms

  • Allegro – The Allegro dinning room is at the rear of the ship on deck 6 and is the traditional dining room facility meaning when you book a static dinner this is the restaurant you will be in.  This dining room also includes the Chef’s Table Lumiere.  Allegro is a little difficult to get to as you have to take the rear elevators because you cannot directly access this restaurant from anywhere on deck 6.  You need to get to the back of the ship then take those elevators down.  Allegro is also where the afternoon tea is served for those interested in that.
  • Symphony & Concerto – I put both Symphony and Concerto together because they are exactly the same.  Yes, exactly.  They are on deck 5 & 6 respectively and look almost identical so much so that my wife and I thought we only went to one restaurant not both.  These are the “anytime” dining restaurant which is when you can book your own dining time and can pick what time you eat at.  Word of warning, these restaurants can get busy!  I highly recommend you either make reservations or if you don’t have any go early or late otherwise you may be waiting a while.

Specialty Dining 

  • Crown Grill & Wheelhouse Bar – The Crown Grill is your steakhouse onboard.  There is a $25USD up-charge for this type of dining however you can as always eat all you care to enjoy.  The Crown Grill has a very traditional nautical theme.  The Wheelhouse Bar is not an additional up-charge and has a similar feeling as Crown Grill without the additional charge.
  • Sabatini’s – Sabatini’s is the onboard Italian restaurant which also has a $25USD up-charge.  Here you will have a very Italian feeling, I did find that there was less Italian here when we sailed but was more of a seafood restaurant.  Perhaps your milage will vary but overall the food is very nice and tasty and well worth the additional charge.

Casual Dining 

  • Alfredo’s – Alfredo’s was perhaps one of our favourite casual restaurants which has great wine and pizza.  There is also a small selection of other foods as well but you can definitely get a great pizza quick and easy.  I recommend this place over many of the pool side food places and even the horizon court buffet.
  • International Café – International cafe is the onboard coffee and pastry shop.  This was a favourite place to walk by at all times of the cruise to see what new and interesting pastries are available.  At breakfast you can get some very good food to eat before your excursions.  Another place we highly recommend.
  • Vines – Vines is a tapas (small plates) and wine venue.  You can get some great little dishes and taste some new wines.  For those who like to relax with a glass of wine and some good food I highly recommend vines as well.
  • Ocean Terrace – The Ocean Terrace is the seafood restaurant located in the Piazza.  Personally I think its more a sushi restaurant, it has limited seating but definitely a great quick place to get some good sushi and seafood.
  • Tea Tower – The Tea Tower has its own tea sommelier and a choice of 250 blends which any tea lover will really enjoy.
  • Pub Lunch – This is located with the Wheelhouse Bar and has a very solid pub style lunch where you can get a great burger and a pint.
  • Gelato – Who doesn’t like Ice Cream?  This is the all included ice cream place where you can get milk shakes, sundaes and crapes!  This is a must love place during the summer.
  • Princess Live! Café – Another nice little tea and coffee place with very small bites right across from the Princess Live! studio.

Poolside Dining

  • Trident Grill – This is the main “hotdog and hamburger” grill near the main pool.  After about 5pm this grill transforms into a BBQ joint serving ribs and other typical barbecue inspired meals.
  • Outrigger Bar – Perhaps our favourite place to relax at the end of the night.  This bar is at the back of the ship on the Lido deck just beyond Horizons Court the buffet restaurant.  You can grab food from inside, come out to the back fo the ship and grab a drink and watch the world go by.  Honestly this was our favourite place to unwind.  There is also a coffee/hot chocolate machine out here too for your convenience.
  • Prego Pizzeria – The second best pizzas in my opinion on ship.  This is a typical fast pizza that you would expect for kids but if you want to move your pizza experience up a level go to Alfredos.
  • Swirls – Swirls, your poolside soft serve ice-cream you can also get popcorn here for the Movies Under the Stars experience.
  • Cabana Picnic – Gourmet picnic baskets that you can eat at the adults only pool cabanas.

Lotus Spa & Salon

The onboard spa is definitely a great place to go on your sea day.  You can get just about any spa service you can think of here my wife and I did a couples massage and really enjoyed it.  Our massage also included food from the international cafe as well as drinks.  One thing I was not a huge fan of was after your massage is done you get the “hard sell” to buy products.  I assume there is some incentives given to the massage professionals who do your treatments.

Overall it was a great place to go however I didn’t really like the hard sell at the end to buy products that may or may not work.

Entertainment

  • Princess Theatre – This is the main theatre onboard where you will find the highest quality / largest production shows.  On our cruise these shows were very well done and entertaining.  These are generally no “broadway” shows but rather unique and custom shows.
  • Movies Under the Stars – Movies under the stars was originally a unique experience from Princess but many other cruises have it.  You can watch popular movies that are just out of the theatre but not yet out on Blu-ray.  During cool nights they provide blankets and you can also get coffee or drinks to your seat while you watch.  Lastly you can get popcorn to nosh on while you watch your movie.
  • Vista Lounge – The Vista Lounge is where you will find your standup comics and singers.  Its a large lounge with a slightly inclined floor to make seating easier.  The Vista Lounge has nice plush chairs and couches where you can relax and watch a great show and get drinks served to you.
  • Club 6 – This is the onboard disco / club that plays music, has a large dance floor and a great place to sit back and relax.
  • Casino – Onboard is of course the casino.  Not something I personally make use of but there is one, its fairly big and I’m sure since you are on international water and there is no casino regulation that the odds are way worse then in the USA!
  • Water-colour Fantasy Show – Held on the lido deck there is a nice water show thats entertaining.
  • Music – There is music nearly everywhere on this ship from the Piazza to the Wheelhouse bar you will find musical acts all over the ship.  There is a piano in the Piazza and classical music or signing all the time.
  • Princess Art Gallery – There is an art gallery onboard as well with various pieces of art that are for sale and hosts art auctions throughout the cruise.

Sports & Fitness

  • Fitness Centre – With typical cardio machines which look over the side of the ship.  There is a large yoga/fitness studio area which as various activities.  Lastly there are some squat rigs but they are the ones that are assisted so not as great as free weights.  On that note there are also some free weights.  The fitness centre can get very busy but has a great set of options to keep your fitness going while enjoying the buffet.
  • Running Track – There is a running track just above the fitness studio, 7 laps is 1-mile and includes both run and walk lanes.  If your running or walking I highly suggest you pay attention and stay in the right lanes please!
  • Putting / Lawn Court / Shuffleboard
  • Center Court – Where you can play basketball, soccer and other court or field based games.
  • Golf Practice Cage – There is also a driving cage which is a netted off area with some old clubs that you can use to drive into a net.
  • Laser Shooting Range – A little area that lets you do some target practice with a virtual target.
  • Table Tennis – There are some ping pong / table tennis tables that are available to guests as well.
  • The Game Lounge – A small little area with a foosball table and a little seating area.

Kids & Teens

  • 3 to 7 – There is the treehouse which is a nice little area for the really young ones to hang out, they do a pajama slumber party and various arts and crafts the kids will love.
  • 8 to 12 – Inspired by the great outdoors, this cozy center keeps kids busy with games, dancing and kid-sized Olympic competitions. Their minds stay busy, too, with California Science Center programs like rocket building, or they can explore outer space with Stargazing and learning how to build a model roller coaster. Exciting events like talent shows, theme nights, and treasure hunts encourage new friendships and family togetherness.
  • 13 to 17 – This contemporary lounge is “the place” for teens — perfect for hanging out and socializing with late-night movie viewing, hip hop dance classes, video game tournaments and sports competitions like dodgeball and basketball. But that’s just the beginning. They’ll dazzle on the red carpet with our Rock the Boat teens-only party, complete with awards and “mocktails.”

Excursions

Excursions on a Princess cruise does cost extra however princess has many connections across the various cities that they visit which allows you to have very unique or special excursions that you may not get on other cruise lines.  We enjoyed every excursion we had during our Baltic Cruise.  One thing to keep in mind about excursions from your cruise provider is that if there are any delays that prevent you from getting back to your ship the ship will either wait for you or they will get you to the next port on their dime.

On our train ride to Berlin a train in front of us broke down and we were about 2 hours late coming back to the ship which of course princess waited for us.  We were very thankful we booked through the cruise provider thats for sure.

Overall & Summary

This is a great ship from a great brand.  You can find nearly everything you need on this ship for even the longest of cruises.  With lots of entertainment and dining options you will be entertained even on those long sea days.  Lots of areas to hide out and relax at night or grab a quick treat before you go on an excursion.  With Princess Cruises you may not the the on-deck flow rider and surfing experience or tones of water slides but what you do get is a focus on what makes cruising great.  Amazing food, solid entertainment and attention to detail.  With all of that you will have a great cruise and with this ship, the Regal Princess you get everything that makes Princess a luxurious experience in a modern, large and very well maintained ship.

Afternoon Tea

There are two types of afternoon tea served on-board you can read a bit more about there on our Royal Tea review linked here.

Tips & Notes

  • People on the left and right of the ship need to know that the “sea walk” allows people to see directly into their balcony.  If you are 1-3 floors below the sea walk be cautious as you may need to keep your lights off or curtains closed which kinda defeats the point.

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